Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Updates (November 30, 2010)

1) SAAG says this on Nepal: Linky

It is seen that some emissaries from India with or without “official blessings” are in Nepal to explain India’s stand and perhaps are taking/preparing a conciliatory approach towards the Maoists. If this is so, it will be most unfortunate and it is time India stops countenancing the usual trend seen in Nepal of “public humiliation and private appeasement.”
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The important result of the plenum is that Prachanda has retained his leadership and in order to retain his position, he may continue with his India bashing at least outwardly!

2) Nepal maoists' open support for Indian maoists: Linky

The week-long plenum of Nepal’s largest party, that ended in a remote village in western Nepal on Saturday, has formally condemned India’s Operation Green Hunt, the offensive started in five Indian states in November 2009 to flush out underground Maoists, known as Naxalites in India. “We condemn the oppression of the Indian people in the name of Operation Green Hunt,” the plenum declaration said. “We urge for a peaceful resolution of the problem.” The 14-point statement also condemned the “immoral and planned murder” of Cherukuri Rajkumar, who was the spokesman of the Indian Maoists under the nom de guerre Azad.

3) Indo-Nepal border encroachment: Linky

The no-man’s-land near India-Nepal border at Adapur has become a free-for-all space with citizens of both the countries encroaching on it to cultivate grains for their personal use. The resident also said that an area of about 12 acres in the no-man’s land under Adapur block had been encroached. Sashatra Seema Bal inspector and Beldarwa camp in-charge Sitaram Sharma said the administration has not made any efforts to check residents who have started cultivating the no-man’s land for their personal gains.
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The administration of either country is not bothered about the encroachment or the uprooted pillar that lies limp at the place that once marked the international border. Any action against the encroachers could be initiated only after instructions from higher authorities. Most of the encroachers are Nepali citizens, added Kumar. A local said the administration had been alarmed over the issue when, a few days ago, a Nepali citizen Gani Miya, a resident of Basantpur under Bara district of Nepal, uprooted pillar no. 382/18 from the border and moved it within 20ft of the Indian border.

4) Rail connectivity to Nepal: Linky

Indian Railways has decided to execute a 70km rail line project at an estimated cost of Rs 470 crore in Nepal as part of the move to strengthen ties between the two neighbouring countries, Indian news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) reported Sunday. PTI quoted East-Central Railway general manager KK Srivastava as saying that the project includes gauge conversation between Jai Nagar (India) and Janakpur (Nepal) spanning a distance of 30 km and laying a new Janakpur-Bardivas line covering a distance of 40 km. The railway ministry has given its nod for the project and released Rs10 crore as first installment for the purpose, he said.

5) Green stump on rail connectivity: Linky

In 2008, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Bhutan king had signed an agreement to extend the railway link to the Himalayan kingdom as a gesture of friendship to mark the golden jubilee of Jawaharlal Nehru’s visit to Bhutan. It was decided that the lines would be extended from five stations — the other three routes being Kokrajhar-Gelephu, Pathsala-Naglam and Rangia-Samdrupjongkhar via Darrang, all originating from Assam. The Northeast Frontier Railway had planned to extend the railway lines from Banarhat and Hashimara to Samtse and Phuentsholing in Bhutan following an agreement between the two countries. The state forest department will oppose any move by the railways to extend the Dooars rail route to Bhutan as it will pose threats to the wildlife, minister Ananta Roy has said. The opposition from the government came close on the heels of the deaths of seven elephants on the Dooars rail tracks on September 22.

Railway officials said the survey on the three stretches of Assam was complete but a similar exercise in Bengal was held up because of land encroachment. “We own land on the two stretches (of Bengal) but they are already encroached upon by a number of families. When we discussed the project with the district magistrate of Jalpaiguri and the divisional commissioner of Jalpaiguri, we were assured that an alternative land would be provided,” said S. Singh, the divisional railway manager of Alipurduar which falls under the NFR. “We agreed to it but now we have no clue about the statements made by the forest department.”

6) AFSPA: Linky

Government today ruled out revoking the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from "some" of the North-Eastern states in the wake of the security situation there. Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran stated this in reply to a question in Lok Sabha. The members of the House had asked whether the government was contemplating withdrawing the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from North-Eastern states including Manipur. "No, Madam. In view of security situation in some of the NE states, it is necessary that the Act continues to be in force," the Minister said.

7) ANVC update: Linky

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma today said his government was examining the demands of the Achik National Volunteer Council, the Garo rebel outfit, which is currently engaged in tripartite talks. "The group has scaled down from its demand for a separate Garoland state to that of a Garo Hills Territorial Council in line with the Bodo Territorial Council of Assam. The matter is under consideration," Sangma said in reponse to a question in the state Assembly.

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